135 "Perspectives on the Current Understanding and Challenges for Improved Prediction of Supercell Tornado Development"

Thursday, 25 October 2018
Stowe & Atrium rooms (Stoweflake Mountain Resort )
Steven E. Koch, NOAA/NSSL, Norman, OK

This talk will succinctly review the current understanding of processes associated with the genesis of tornadoes spawned by supercell storms, the ability of current numerical weather prediction (NWP) convection-admitting models to discriminate between tornadic and nontornadic storms, and methods for tornado detection and warning. The existing evidence in support of alternative tornadogenesis theories is summarized in terms of information gleaned from NWP model ensemble systems and observational studies of tornadogenesis. Particular emphasis will be placed on the differentiation of dynamical processes occurring at mid-levels from those that may occur in the very low levels believed to be critical for tornadoes to develop in supercell storms. Issues identified with NWP approaches to being able to correctly represent these processes are highlighted. The observational requirements to fully capture tornadogenesis are recommended from the results of studies showing the impacts of observational deficiencies. Recent results from a variety of studies conducted at the National Severe Storms Laboratory with its collaborators in the scientific community in such relevant programs as Warn On Forecast, Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR), and such tornado field programs as VORTEX, VORTEX-Southeast, and Rivers of Vorticity in Supercells (RiVorS) are referred to in this overview presentation. The expressed viewpoint on these issues are those of the author from his perspective as the Director of the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and do not necessarily reflect the views of all NSSL scientists or that of NOAA.
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